A timeline of the Metro Manila lockdown

Written by Jenna Wang

Chaos has been prominent in recent months with the rise of the pandemic known as Coronavirus or Covid-19. The virus has been a primary cause of panic in many countries with the Philippines being no exception. Many nations have chosen to close borders and even implement strict policies on a community quarantine. Here is a timeline from the announcement of this lockdown which has extended to the entirety of Luzon and what exactly it entails for us citizens.

March 10, 2020

Classes in all levels in Metro Manila were suspended until March 14. The PRRD declaring a State of Public Health Emergency prior (on March 8).

March 12, 2020 

According to Virgil Lopez of GMA News, an announcement was made by President Rodrigo Duterte detailing travel restrictions in Metro Manila due to the coronavirus. The implementation of the community quarantine would be effective March 17-April 14. On the same day, The Department of Health (DOH) raised the alert level to a Code Red sub-level 2 alert.

Infographics had also been released to explain the different alert-levels regarding Covid-19 and what actions may need to be taken:

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Infographics from the Office of the Presidential Spokesperson and Presidential Communications Operations Office, Source DOH

Infographics from the Office of the Presidential Spokesperson and Presidential Communications Operations Office, Source DOH

Infographics from the Office of the Presidential Spokesperson and Presidential Communications Operations Office, Source DOH

Infographics from the Office of the Presidential Spokesperson and Presidential Communications Operations Office, Source DOH

Infographics from the Office of the Presidential Spokesperson and Presidential Communications Operations Office, Source DOH

March 15, 2020

Based on Aljazeera news, the lockdown in Manila was just made effective with land, domestic air, and sea access being suspended and all 17 districts of Metro Manila having restricted access. A total of 56 checkpoints were made to blockade each district entrance where military and police forces carry out temperature checks. A curfew had also been implemented in Metro Manila from 8 AM-7 PM.

During this time, the DOH announced that there had been 28 new coronavirus cases bringing the country to a grand total of 140 infected. Along with this, there were been 11 deaths among the infected.

March 16, 2020 

It was announced that there would be an enhanced community quarantine across the entirety of Luzon effective immediately (12 AM of March 17). A strict quarantine of all households, suspension of transportation, and regulation of food provisions or essential health services would be implemented. Along with this, there would be a heightened presence of uniformed personnel participating in the enforcement of the strict quarantine measures across the 8 regions, including Metro Manila.

March 17, 2020

The enhanced community quarantine had just been made effective with a 72-hour window for Filipinos to leave the country if needed. A memorandum from the executive secretary was released by the Office of the Presidential Spokesperson regarding the lockdown of Luzon and what actions will be taken in order to manage the pandemic:

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Sourced from the Office of the Presidential Spokesperson

Sourced from the Office of the Presidential Spokesperson

Sourced from the Office of the Presidential Spokesperson

March 18, 2020

Liga ng mga Barangay Manila released this statement on Facebook:

“Sa lahat ng Punong Barangay:

Alinsunod sa pahayag ni Pangulong Rodrigo Roa Duterte na isinagawa ng ika-16 ng Marso taong kasalukuyan patungkol sa ipatutupad na Enhanced community Quarantine, ang LAHAT NG PUNONG BARANGAY ay agarang inaatasan na makipagugnayan sa kanilang nasasakupan patungkol sa pagtalaga ng ISANG TAO (ONE PERSON PER FAMILY/HOUSEHOLD KADA PAMILYA na pahihintulutan ng barangay lumabas upang bumili ng kanilang mga pangangailangan at siguraduhin na makapagbigay po kayo ng BARANGAY CERTIFICATE at ID sa taong itinalaga o at hanggat maaari ay lagyan po natin ng kaukulang control number ito upang masiguro po natin na walang duplikasyon. Dapat pong hawak nila yun sa tuwing lalabas upang bumili. Salamat po.”

It spoke of barangay chairpersons being made to issue a “one person per family” certificate and identification card to be disseminated to the public as soon as possible. In line with the policy on social distancing, this certificate or identification card should be with the designated person of each family when leaving the house for groceries or buying of medicine. Those who are not carrying it shall be apprehended immediately. (This excludes medical workers where some may need to present letters or etc.)

March 20, 2020

These certificates were given to all of the public–if not most–and became effective immediately. Groceries and the like are required to only let a certain amount of people enter the vicinity in order to practice social distancing and they close earlier than before.

IS Sample from Manila PIO

March 27, 2020

Executive order 65 was issued where all passes will be distributed free-of-charge as emphasized by Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella.

According to Sunstar,

“The City will be issuing four types of ECQ passes: the Green pass for Cebu City residents; Red pass for employees and officials of government offices; Blue pass for non-residents of Cebu City; and White pass for crisis management teams and other frontliners.

For Cebu City residents or the recipient of green passes, they are given a five-day transition period until the strict implementation of “no pass, no exit” policy.

The green passes will be distributed house-to-house by the members of the PNP, barangay officials, or any duly authorized person appointed by the mayor’s office.

The distribution of green passes will start on March 28, while the strict implementation of “no pass, no exit” policy will start on April 1.

Those who will distribute the passes will have to maintain a record of the issuances with complete details of recipient’s name, birth date, barangay, address, contact numbers and other members of the household.

For the red, blue and white passes, the applicants must submit a letter request to mayor’s office personally or through email at ccg.ecqpass@gmail.com.

For red passes, whose recipients are the government workers, their letter request must have the subject “GOE – (Name of Office).”

The letter request must specify the names and functions of the government officials or employees to be given ECQ passes.

For blue passes whose recipients are non-residents but are working in the city, the subject of their letter request “NR – (Family Name) – (LGU of residence).”

One letter request is good for only one individual.

For white passes, whose recipients are those in crisis management teams and frontliners, the subject of the letter request is “CMTF – (Office, Agency, or Company).”

All the letter requests will still have to be evaluated by the Office of the Mayor and once approved, the Office will also be the one to issue it to the applicants.

Those exempted under the Stay at Home Order are no longer required to secure ECQ passes and only need to present their company ID, Certificate of Employment, or any bona fide document to prove they are exempted.

Exempted from Stay at Home Order are the medical practitioners, officers, hospital staff, nurses, and health volunteers; emergency personnel; all authorized national and local government officials and employees; drivers and personnel of delivery vehicles of all types of cargoes; construction workers duly authorized by the City; accredited media personnel; farmers, fishermen, and agri-business personnel; persons who seek medical attention or who are already admitted in any medical facility, provided that only one companion shall be allowed; employees of exempted establishments as provided under Section 2 of EO 65; and such other persons as may be authorized by the mayor or his duly authorized representative.”

The passes would be made effective March 28, 2020.

March 29, 2020

UP-PGH, in cooperation with PLDT, has set-up a Covid-19 hotline where people are able to call at any given time regarding concerns with their health. The public is now able to consult with medical professionals from home through the hotline 155200.

We are facing a global crisis due to this spreading pandemic. It is advised to stay at home and “self-quarantine”, only leaving the house if absolutely necessary. Sanitation is key during these times as we can only but wait for further guidelines or news on the issue. God Bless.


Virlgil Lopez, Metro Manila community quarantine: What You Need to Know, https://www.gmanetwork.com/news/news/metro/729594/your-guide-to-metro-manila-s-community-quarantine/story/

Ana Santos, Ghost town: Manila under coronavirus lockdown , https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/03/manila-turns-ghost-town-coronavirus-lockdown-200315121507679.html

Liga ng Mga Barangay Manila, “Sa lahat ng mga punong..”, https://www.facebook.com/pg/ligangmgabarangaymanila/posts/?ref=page_internal

Sunstar, Cebu City Government to issue quarantine passes, https://www.sunstar.com.ph/article/1850274

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